Gibbon's History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

1894 words - 8 pages

Despite being an immediate bestseller, shortly after publishing, Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire became unpopular with large groups of the British reading public. The abridged edition consecutively presents the stories behind the Empire’s leadership and course of action. Gibbon revivifies the complex and compelling period of the Romans by detailing the prosperous conditions of the empire, the decline, and the aftermath of the fall. At the same time, Gibbon efficiently scrutinizes the declining virtue of the Roman people. Gibbon made an argument that the intellectual inflexibility of the Roman Empire had declined into “barbarism” and “Christianity,” which ultimately attributed to the fall of the Empire. Many ideas in international politics may have the best foundations for evidence but quickly go out of style. The ideas behind Gibbon’s Decline did just that. Many authors attribute the decline of the Roman Empire to military and economic characteristics rather than virtuous leadership and characteristics. Because Gibbon takes a humanist approach in describing decline, he undermines legitimate factors that modern political scientists would evaluate. Gibbon wrote in a paradigm that has little value for modern political science and as such, is a really bad idea. His idea- the decline of the Roman virtue having consequences beyond structural factors- is, in effect, an idea that should not be used for anything except teaching the definition of virtue and reviewing history. Because of the paradigm going out of style, The Decline would not have survived with merit had it not been for the intriguing anecdotes and tales of the many characters.
The need to investigate all political, social, military and economic factors of a situation is a large part of modern day political science. Focusing on one of the four can contort the facts and lead to a misinterpreted publication on the causation for the collapse of a state. This is exactly what Gibbon did. “Change is inevitable. But, so is continuity.” The nature of military power is about shaping international politics and the weight of material resources. Gibbon’s strict focus on social factors led to his writing the Decline and it becoming a lost paradigm so quickly. The argument should not be solely based on whether or not virtue matters, but on how the characteristics of a leader, coupled with the military and economic prosperity of a state, led to the decline. Gibbon focuses largely on the social themes of barbarism and Christianity, and in doing so, gives a humanist approach as the reason for the end of the Roman Empire instead of analyzing all the pieces.
Gibbon begins his work by idolizing the Empire under Augustus and the subsequent rulers who followed in his footsteps. “The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour... During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was...

Find Another Essay On Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

1094 words - 4 pages AD ended Rome's ability to dominate such a huge territory. The seemingly unstoppable Roman Empire was bound to fall after the many aspects that made Rome such a dominant empire started to fade away. Rome was the center of the world and the thought that such a worldwide power could decline. The marvelous city declined for many reasons yet there are only a few major reasons that led to its complete end. Political, economic, religious, and other

Fall of The Roman Empire Essay

551 words - 2 pages When discussing the Roman Empire one of the most popular topics is how this mighty empire fell. There are two main views about how the Roman Empire began to fall apart, some believe that it was because of inner strife that occurred in the empire, and weakened the empire so that it could be torn apart from the out side. On the other hand some scholars believe that the Roman Empire crumbled because of out side forces that stressed the empire to

The Decline of the Roman Empire

715 words - 3 pages The fall of Rome The Roman Empire stood for nearly five hundred years as world's strongest empire and is believed to have fallen sometime around 467 A.D. There are many reasons that lead to the Western Roman Empire decline. In this paper I will discuss what issues lead to this great empire's demise. The first proposed idea for the collapse of the Roman Empire is when Germanic migrations started, along with the aggressive westward movement of

The Decline of the Holy Roman Empire

3239 words - 13 pages The Holy Roman Empire was an empire in central Europe consisting of many territories and ethnicities. Once very powerful, the empire’s authority slowly decreased over centuries and by the Middle Ages the emperor was little more than a figurehead, allowing princes to govern smaller sections of the empire. Though the various ruling princes owed loyalty to the emperor, they were also granted a degree of independence and privileges. The emperor

Notes on the Roman Empire during Constantine, his successors and The decline of the Roman empire

618 words - 2 pages king•Eastern part of empire survived until 1453 and is what we call Byzantine empireTHE DECLINE AND FALL OF Rome•Saint Augustine one of the first church father, wrote a book called “Rome’s fall in the city of god”•It was an analysis of Rome’s fall•Since then many writer wrote about the decline of Rome•There is no major reason why Rome declinedECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS•Rome suffered an economic

"Discuss the reasons for the decline and ultimate fall of the western Roman Empire, evaluating internal and external influences."

1712 words - 7 pages West was no more. #Bibliography1. Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire New York: 3rd Edition 19522. Grant, Michael. The History of Rome. New York, 19783. Kagan, Donald. Decline and Fall of Rome. December 1962 2nd edition4. Robinson, Tony. The Romans. Channel 4, 2003, DVD5. http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romefallarticles/a/fallofrome.htmFootnotes1. Kagan, Donald, Decline and Fall of Rome 1962 2nd edition p 982. Grant

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire

1560 words - 6 pages lasted much longer, possibly as long as the East . The same cannot be said for the other proposed causes of the fall. In summary, the rulers in the Eternal City's poor management of military and the civilian population made the Empire indefensible against the invasions of the Huns and the barbarian tribes. Works CitedGill, N.S. "Fall of Rome - Why Did the Roman Empire Decline and Fall?" Ancient / Classical History - Ancient Greece & Rome

The Fall of the Roman Empire

819 words - 4 pages The fall of the Roman Empire happened after a extensive history of power. History’s biggest empire collapsed after about 1000 years. This occurred because Rome changed for the worst during the end of its time of power. Rome had 147 emperors throughout its time in control. There were also the good and corrupt times of Rome which all happened before the unexpected fall of the biggest empire in history. There are precise reasons for why the Roman

The fall of the Roman Empire

1564 words - 6 pages .BIBLIOGRAPHYJones, A.H.M. A General History of Europe: The Decline of the Ancient World.London: Longman Group Ltd. 1966Lynn Hunt, Thomas Martin, Barbara Rosenwein, R.Hsia, and Bonnie Smith.The Challenge of the West: Peoples and Cultures from Stone Age to 1740.Toronto: D.C. Health and Company, 1995.Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, James Jacob, Margaret Jacob, Theodore Von Laue.Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics & Society.Boston: Houghton Miffln Company, 1996.Piganiol, Andre. "The Causes of the Ruin of the Roman Empire."Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Why did it Collapse ?: Donald Kagan.ED. Donald Kagan. Massachusettes: D.C. Health and Company, 1962.

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1800 words - 8 pages civilization fall? Well, the fall of Roman Empire in 476 ACE was aided by ineffective rulers, the crumbling economy, and the invasion of the Germanic Tribes. Ineffective leaders are one reason why the Roman Empire came to its demise. After the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Empire started to decline. His son, Commodus, was next in line for the throne. Commodus managed government affairs horrendously. One major mistake he made, was to

The Fall of the Roman Empire

1290 words - 5 pages The fall of the Roman Empire in the West is seen as one of the most pivotal points in all of human history. This event traditionally marks the transition from classical civilization to the birth of Europe. There is an absolutely tremendous scholarly interest in this subject; thousands of books have been published and endless numbers of essays and theories, as to the cause, have been written. Why did the Roman Empire in the West fall? It

Similar Essays

Edward Gibbon's The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

876 words - 4 pages The decline of the Roman Empire has been the subject of intense scholarly research. Yet the causes of the decline are still the subject of vigorous debate. The classic work on the collapse is the massive text titled The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written in 1776 by the English historian Edward Gibbon. Over two hundred theories have been advanced to explain the decline. Despite many areas for conjecture regarding the decline of the

The Decline Of The Roman Empire World History Essay

772 words - 4 pages The Decline of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire conquered and integrated many cultures. For hundreds of years, the empire strived and trumped others. Around the third century, the Roman Empire began to face a great amount of problems. These problems began to build on each other and eventually led to the collapse of the empire. There are a variety of explanations that account for the fall such as the political, social, economic, and military

Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

1420 words - 6 pages fall of the Roman Empire as from 410 C.E is regarded as one of the largest and pivotal events in the history of the world. As from the time Edward Gibbon finished his works in 1788 on the Decline and Fall of the Roman empire, there has been large debates on the cause of the of the fall of the roman empire. However, it should be noted that despite the roman empire might have fallen politically, their culture and heritage still persisted in the west

Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

1786 words - 8 pages Arunav ThakurDiscuss the reasons behind the fall of the Roman EmpireThe Roman Empire was one of the most powerful empires in the history of mankind. However, the mighty empire of Rome has fallen. From 31 BC to 476 A.D the Roman Empire went from being the most powerful annuity of the Mediterranean to nothing. Succession, military, economic conflict, ethnic issues and barbarism were the five major factors that contributed to the downfall and